Citizens Bank Volunteers Help uAspire Students Build Financial Literacy, Prepare for College

By: Chris Loney | Thursday, May 30, 2013

High school seniors have a lot on their minds at the end of the school year. Graduation is just a few weeks away – and after that, summer and college.

But at Dorchester Academy, in the waning days of the school year, students are getting a crash course in financial literacy. They are learning about how to balance a budget. They are reminded that their first college tuition bill will be due in a couple of months.

Students are taking part in a class called Transitions to College. And volunteering his time to deliver this course is Casey Bolduc.


uAspire Advisor Dan Mendelsohn and Citizens Bank volunteer P.J. Aretino deliver a Transitions to College workshop at Jeremiah E. Burke High School on May 16, 2013.

An employee of Citizens Bank, Casey is a volunteer instructor for uAspire’s Transitions to College. Citizens Bank and uAspire have partnered together to recruit volunteers who are eager to give back and help students prepare for college. In addition to philanthropic support from the Citizens Bank Foundation, this partnership is allowing uAspire to share the financial expertise of volunteers like Casey with students who are about to head to college. And with many students expressing concern about the increasing costs of college, getting financial advice directly from financial professionals is a valuable resource.

Transitions to College is a series of workshops, given to high school seniors right before they graduate. The purpose of these workshops is to prepare students for the summer between their high school graduation and when they begin college. This summer period is a busy time for students, when they must pay their first tuition bills, register for classes, and take care of other important tasks before the fall.

For the more than 2,600 seniors served by uAspire ever year, these to-dos may be unclear or unknown. Transitions to College is designed to shed more light on these important tasks. Transitions to College workshops are focused on preparing students to stay on top of these important deadlines in the summer. With this knowledge, they can arrive at college prepared.

Back at Dorchester Academy, Casey delivers a workshop along with Dan Mendelsohn, a uAspire Financial Aid Advisor. They talk about health insurance requirements, loan counseling, and deadlines for master promissory notes.

“I think the presentation went very well, and I was very glad to see the interaction from the students,” said Casey. “I think the message and ideals this program is delivering are hugely important and I would be proud to be able to contribute in the future.”

During the next school year, additional Citizens Bank employees will also have the chance to volunteer with uAspire. In line with Citizens Bank’s focus on financial literacy, volunteers will work alongside uAspire Advisors to deliver workshops that will help our students build a strong financial foundation as they enter college. Volunteers will also be involved with uAspire students who receive a Last Dollar Scholarship.

The partnership also represents the power of collaboration between nonprofits and local corporate partners who want to make a meaningful impact in the community. “uAspireā€™s emphasis on financial literacy and preparing young people to succeed in higher education is a reflection of our belief that access to college is a critical component to long term prosperity in our communities,” said Brendan Coughlin, President, Education Finance, RBS Citizens Financial Group. “We know there are many steps and deadlines to meet in order to get ready for college and we are glad that we were able to help uAspire and its clients prepare for the upcoming fall semester.”

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